$400 for an iMac and iBook?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by RedCroissant, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    Hello out there.

    I have the opportunity to buy:

    1) 1.9GHz 17" iMac G5 with 160 GB HDD and 2.5 GB RAM
    2) 1.33GHz 12" iBook G4 with 40GB HDD and 1 GB RAM

    They both are in good/great condition and come with one year full warranty with an Accident Protection Plan included in the price.

    I am in the need of a laptop for school since I had to sell my late 2011 MBP, and I thought that the iMac would be a good kid's workstation for my kids.

    What do you guys think? And the total for everything would be just under $400(including taxes, fees, warranty, and protection plan)

    Thanks in advance for any comments/advice!
  2. Airforcekid macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2008
    United States of America
    I would get an iPad 2 and invest in a bluetooth keyboard those older iBooks are slow and your not going to be able to run a lot of current software since you will be stuck at Leopard however I would use Tiger. There is also windows and Linux if your really need to be cheap a decent windows laptop can be bought for around $299 or get a cheap desktop or laptop and Nexus 7/Kindle fire combo.
  3. sigamy macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2003
    NJ USA
    PowerPC fans may disagree, but those processors will struggle with much of today's software and modern web sites. If your kids use Flash based sites like ClubPenguin or watch a lot of YouTube they will be disappointed in the performance. It's sluggish at best.

    There are some builds of Firefox that may run well on G5's though.

    If you will stick with PPC era software the machines will be good for basic tasks.

    Check the Deals section at lowendmac.com to see if this is a good price.
  4. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    that's old hardware which means you're going to need old software to run on it
  5. RedCroissant thread starter Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    The thing is that I don't mind being stuck with Leopard bc I'll be using it for 2 things mostly and 4 things maybe: Internet for light browsing, iWork or some other open source productivity suite, iTunes for home sharing(once I upgrade the RAM) I considered an iPad, but this way I get OS X for use with school and my kids get a computer as well with a bigger screen that is also compatible with flash.

    The only flash site that they use now is pbskids and I was hoping that with max RAM on the iMac(2.5GB) that the performance would be fine. I'll be keeping the iBook for myself for basic school stuff.

    Luckily, I don't have much money right now and being able to get two computers for that price is really good in my opinion.
  6. lAnthonyl macrumors newbie


    Sep 17, 2012
    That sounds like a pretty good deal to me, maybe a RAM upgrade on your iMac and iBook may make the performance better for you to enjoy your basic tasks and such.
  7. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    If it includes all that you say it does, it sounds like a good deal.
  8. gpat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2011
    I'd pay $300 for them.
    G4s are seriously outdated machines. Maybe the iMac is up to scratch for casual computing but you have to be light on the iBook if you want to get something done with it.
  9. DrakkenWar macrumors 6502


    Nov 7, 2010
    San Antonio,Texas

    I would have to agree with Gpat here. Even though I am a loyal PPC fan boy, still use my G4 PB everyday, the iBook and the G5 are both going to quickly start to show their age. While the iBook will get you through college. Most of my college time was spent on an iBook G3/900 that did all I needed from it. I don't know if you will get your investment out of both long enough to justify the expense.

    Case in point. Here in the local area I recently picked up a Core 2 Duo 1.83ghz mac mini with maxed out ram and upgraded hard drive for $210.00. In this purchase I know the mac will far out last the price I payed for it in the longterm. Just some things to think about.
  10. AdrianK macrumors 68020

    Feb 19, 2011
    The iMac G5 is arguably the most hardware failure prone Mac in existence. I wouldn't touch one for any price.
  11. PS9 macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2012
    This is true, I didn't have a regular job during my college years because I just repaired G5 capacitors. Those things have a ridiculously high failure rate once they started getting old.

    I'm with gpat too, $300. That would be my max, $400 seems a bit steep.

    And honestly, there's probably some that would disagree, just find a G5 iMac on eBay with blown caps. Last I checked they were running around $50 and IMHO the question would be: Do you know what a soldering iron is? Awesome, you can fix a G5 iMac. Just make sure to get the high temp caps, I believe they were 110 degrees and the standard ones are 80. That seems to be the biggest problem where people go "I soldered new ones on and it broke a few hours later".

    Either that or just grab a PC. We might like Apple products but the truth of the matter is, at some point your children will need to use PC's which most likely are running Windows. It doesn't hurt to have them use a variety of equipment. Used there's tons of supply so the stuff is cheaper, HP Core 2 Duo laptops run around $200 last I checked and I don't' know... I'd probably take a PC at that point over a G4 iBook.
  12. sigamy macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2003
    NJ USA
    Very good point. Can't believe I didn't mention this. My niece had a G5 iMac that first had display issues, then blown caps.

    Love the advice to check ebay or craigslist for a Core 2 mac mini.
  13. RedCroissant thread starter Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    I actually got both of them for less than $300 and am very happy with both machines. And yes, I know the stories of the G5 iMac and I think I'll be able to fix it myself but if not, I know a couple of good places to get it fixed inexpensively.

    And these are both going to be used very casually and possibly even to the point that they will both primarily use 2-3 apps. The iMac will be used for flash games from kids' sites and have most other things disabled. The iBook is so far working normally and I have no concerns with putting OpenOffice on there to take care of school needs.

    But at that price, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get a couple of machines that I knowI would get plenty of use out of.

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